Is The World Ready For The First Lab-Grown 'Franken-Meatball'?

Meatless meat is taking the omnivorous world by storm, or at least that's what vegan meat brands tell us. Memphis Meats — one of the largest companies focusing on lab-grown meat that creates "meat" from animal cells — has created what they're calling the "world's first cultured meatball." The fried meatball looks (and according to its creators, smells and tastes) like the real thing, but it's made from stem cells instead of animal flesh.

"We watched how the meatball reacted in the pan, we heard the sizzle, we smelled the meat and it was exactly how you would expect a meatball to smell," Memphis Meats CEO Uma Valeti said in the video the company released featuring the new innovation. "This is the first time a meatball has ever been cooked with beef cells that didn't require a cow to be slaughtered."

Right now, Memphis Meat is still in the development stage and its products are not ready for human consumption, unless you have a fortune at your disposal to spend on meat alternatives. According to Fox News, it costs about $18,000 to produce a pound of Memphis Meats beef right now, compared with about $4 or $5 for regular store-bought beef. Valeti believes the inaccessible nature of the lab-grown meat will no longer be a factor in time, and that lab-grown meat will be entering the mass market within five years.

"Cultured meat will completely replace the status quo and make raising animals to eat them simply unthinkable," Valeti told The Daily Mail.

Lab-grown meat is not the only option for carnivores wishing to take on a new meat-free diet. Beyond Meat is a company that creates imitation meat using plant materials.